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December 27, 2016

Santana – Festival (1976) – Lp

by Record Facts

Santana is an American Latin rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana.

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Artist:  Santana
Title:  Festival
Year:  1976
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86020

With Amigos, his last LP, Carlos Santana began rebuilding his status as a pop musician, a status he lost with the admirable — but spotty and often inaccessible — Caravanserai; Love, Devotion and Surrender; and Borboletta. Yet on Festivál he may have embraced the mainstream a mite too much. Though this record is far stronger on the whole than Amigos, it lacks that album’s memorable chordal quirks and peaks of intensity, sometimes sounding like a prisoner of its own commercial aspirations. Festivál‘s up cuts, like “Mariá Caracóles,” “Let the Music Set You Free,” “Reach Up,” “Let the Children Play” and “Jugando,” all set rich enough grooves, but are flat compared to Amigos’ moments of brilliance. In fact, Santana doesn’t do much work here at all, noticeably subordinating himself to his surroundings (for example, “Give Me Love,” which is virtually sans Carlos, sounds — literally and completely — like an Earth, Wind and Fire track). I like Festivál, but I would have liked more — a more I figure Carlos Santana can now dispense almost at will — better.
Amigos, was another David Rubinson-produced effort that moved back toward more of a Latin rock feel, although it retained an essentially pop focus — “The River” was the first real vocal ballad on a Santana album. If any doubt still existed that the group was no longer a band of equals but a platform for its lead guitarist, the current lineup dispelled that; Carlos Santana was now the only original member of the band left.

 

Side one
1.  Carnaval   (2:15)
2.  Let the Children Play   (3:28)
3.  Jugando Areas   (2:12)
4.  Give Me Love   (4:29)
5.  Verão Vermelho   (5:00)
6.  Let the Music Set You Free   (3:39)

Side two
1.  Revelations   (4:37)
2.  Reach Up   (5:23)
3.  The River   (4:53)
4.  Try a Little Harder   (5:04)
5.  Maria Caracoles   (4:32)

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